Susie O’Neill is one of Australia’s most successful swimmers ever, having achieved a record 35 Australian titles, eight Olympic medals and a string of victories at international level.

Susie attended Lourdes Hill from 1986 to 1990, at the same time her swimming career was taking off. Her first major international campaign was during her final year of high school, when she competed at the Auckland Commonwealth Games, taking home gold and silver medals.

Interestingly, alongside her on the Australian Commonwealth Games team was her PE teacher and high jumper, Deann Bopf (now Deann Mayfield, who is still a teacher at LHC).

Throughout a career stretching from 1990 to 2000, Susie never came home from any international competition without a medal.

At the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, she became the first Australian female swimming Olympic gold medallist since 1980, and the first Australian female ever to win the 200m butterfly. With a silver and bronze medal to add to her gold, Susie was Australia’s most outstanding Olympic performer since Shane Gould in 1972.

In 1998, Susie was brilliant at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, where she won a record eight medals, including six gold. 

Susie won a total of 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals throughout her career – the most ever for an Australian, while her six gold in Kuala Lumpur is a record for the most gold won at a single Commonwealth Games.

At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Susie affirmed herself as one of Australia’s all time greats, winning one gold and three silver medals. This brought her aggregate Olympic medal haul to eight, equalling Dawn Fraser’s Australian record.

Since retiring from swimming after the Sydney Olympics, Susie has served on the International Olympic Committee and has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.

Susie now juggles her role as a full-time mum with sponsor, charity and media commitments. She enjoys keeping fit and healthy with daily exercise including swimming, cycling, walking and running.

More Stellar Lourdanians

Gillian Davie (Spranklin) 1986 - 1990

A second generation Lourdanian, after school Gillian completed a B. Business from QUT. Gillian then attained a management role at her local Woolworths. Following this early position, she has climbed through the ranks to become the General Manager - Human Resources for Masters Home Improvement and Home and Timber & Hardware across Australia. Gillian returned to University and achieved post graduate qualifications in Adult Education (University Tasmania) and Human Resources (Griffith University – also achieving an Academic Award). 
Gillian has held several Board positions including Eanactus Australia, Employment Disability Network and Be.Accessible, a not for profit organization providing opportunities for people with disabilities. Gillian is a strong advocate for people with disabilities and for Gender diversity/ Women in Leadership roles which she attributes to Lourdes Hill and the belief that she learnt at LHC of “Girls can do anything”.   
Gillian has achieved great success in her job and also great success in her personal life with four beautiful daughters. She is a credit to the LHC Community.
Snapshot of LHC: 1986-1995

The 1990 Commonwealth Games featured stars from Lourdes Hill: swimmer Susie O’Neill (senior student), athlete Monique Dunstan (past pupil) and high jumper Deann Bopf (teacher). The first lay principal, Mrs Kay Herse, was appointed in 1992. Social justice groups, St Vincent De Paul, Leo’s and Amnesty International, were operating within the school. An official Archives Collection was established.
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